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Turkey's September 12 referendum dealt a sever blow to the positions of secularists in the country. Recep Erdogan's Justice and Development Party secured the support of 58% of the voters for its reform aimed at making the military – the part of the society that has for decades guaranteed the secular character of the Turkish statehood - more accountable to the civilian rule and at limiting the powers of the judiciary which has routinely opposed the government.

In an interview with a Russian news agency, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, once again touched upon the so-called Iran’s nuclear problem (actually, instead of the word ‘problem’ Tehran has been using ‘Iran’s nuclear issue’). Mr. Gates repeatedly announced that Washington does not rule out any scenarios, including a military attack on Iran. The Pentagon chief stressed that the U.S. welcomes Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program but suggested that Iran had been seeking ways to produce nukes.

In 1974 - a year after Great Britain's joining the European Economic Community – young British author Christopher Priest published his Inverted World which portrayed the united Europe as city Earth constructed on top of great wheels and being slowly winched along railroad tracks. The aim of the motion was to reach the Optimum, a destination of supposed well-being.

European governments are doing all they can to sustain the banking sector's customary profit margins, if necessary – at the expense of the general population. Social programs are sacrificed serially to stem mounting budget deficits. The actual result is that while the budgets are shrinking cash is flowing into the very banks which had provoked the financial crisis.

The accuracy of forecasts always leaves much to be desired, and still Russia has to take seriously the task of understanding the future of the global energy sector. Sitting on vast energy reserves, Russia is open about its energy superpower ambitions, but natural resources alone are no guarantee of a country's prosperity.

After October 1 thousands of US military hackers and spies will get down to their cyber war activities.

The declarations for taking cyber defense measures can be heard more and more often in the US. US analysts state that information and communication networks, on which the national infrastructure depends on, are becoming vulnerable for cyber criminals.

Moscow's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in August 2008 was an important political step towards a brand new status of the Russian Federation in post-Soviet societies. Over the past two years this step has been thoroughly analyzed by various think tanks dealing with the future of the Caucasus. So, what do we have in South Ossetia?

Former Pakistani General and intelligence chief who unexpectedly found himself popular among Western journalist freely airs the the ideas Americans only dare to discuss privately. Better late than never, the star of the 74-year old former ISI Director Hamid Gul who fought together with the US against the Soviet army in Afghanistan but turned into a vehement critic of his old patrons finally started to shine brightly.

Months before the official visit of President Dmitry Medvedev to Armenia scheduled for August 19-21, experts in both countries focused on bilateral relations between Moscow and Yerevan, a thing which proves the following: like the whole post-Soviet territory, the Caucasus remains a place where Russia, the West (U.S. and the EU), Turkey, Iran and some other countries are playing a complicated geopolitical game. All moves in this game (like information leaks, either confirmed or denied reports about arms supplies, as well as different hints, very often quite provocative ones) may have hidden and explicit motives.

There is no question where the US forces withdrawn from Iraq will go – Afghanistan is known to be the next destination. In the process, Washington manages to demonstrate commitment to peace. The US President is convinced that the US mission in Iraq can be “safely” finished by the end of August and the US pull out – by the end of the year, says White House Press Secretary R. Gibbs.